Sleeper sedans aren’t a big thing these days. Heck, most sedans have been phased out of new production, which is a real shame. The advent of the compact and subcompact crossover has taken the place of the midsize and full-size four-door sedan. But that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate what you have and give your current sedan, or even a used sedan, a little love to spruce up its notable capabilities. A perfect example is the enhancements you can make to the Chevy Impala. It met an unceremonious end with the 2020 model year outing, but it’s still a vehicle that gets some regular mileage at your local Chevy dealer here and there.
In many ways, the Impala has found life after discontinuation as a pet project from many car owners looking for something cheap, performance-enriched, and easily adjustable. Even as SUVs have taken over the market that vehicles like the Impala used to dominate, there is still a community of modders, fixer-uppers, and gear-heads looking to add a little flair and spice to something affordable and seemingly unassuming. Believe it or not, the Chevy Impala makes for the perfect pet project, and there are some nifty ways to drastically improve its appeal if you happen to own a used one or you’re planning on getting one to turn the sleeper sedan into something more alluring.
It’s not much, but decals and vinyl can drastically alter the way your Impala looks. Even without any body appearance mods or performance upgrades, the ability to change how the Impala looks from decals or vinyl can add a lot to the vehicle’s appeal. Decals for the Impala can be found almost anywhere online, from Etsy and Amazon to eBay and even Chevy’s official accessories page. There are a lot of really neat decals available to match the color scheme or look of your Impala.
The beauty of decals is that you can find designs, logos, and overlays for as cheap as $10, which is great. This gives you an opportunity to spend very little for a lot of visual enhancements on your Impala. Four decals, two on each side, with contrasting color schemes could do a lot to raise the visual integrity of your vehicle. If you want something a little more fancy, you can go with a whole side-body vinyl or a hood vinyl to add a more sports-themed look to your Impala.
#6. Front Splitter
One good way to accent the look of your Chevy Impala is with body mods such as a front splitter. There are both affordable OEM and third-party lips and splitters available so that you can get some online or from your local Chevy dealer; it’s all up to you. You can get some for under $30 and some that are several thousand dollars. It all depends on your budget and what you want for your Impala. The best part about it is that installing a splitter on tenth-gen Impala models is a lot easier than you might think. There are a lot of places under the front bumper to attach a splitter, and sometimes it’s as easy as having a drill, enough nuts, bolts, and screws, and a couple of spacers to attach a custom splitter. It’s cheap, looks cool, and adds some aerodynamic appeal to the car.
#5. Deck-Lid Spoiler
You know what goes great with that front splitter and those sharp decals? A deck-lid spoiler. Once again, the Chevy Impala is the perfect sleeper sedan to turn into a performance sports sedan for an extremely low entry price. Chevy has various OEM deck-lid spoilers available for the Impala you can get directly from them or a Chevy dealer, but that’s only if you want the vanilla aftermarket upgrade.
The beauty of the Impala is that because it does support the removal and addition of a rear spoiler, you can add one that is as sporty, low-key, or as conspicuous as you want. That means if you want something with a lot of flair and curves, you can go for it. Duraflex, Carbon Creations, and APR Performance have the sort of aftermarket spoilers available that will turn your Impala into something worthy of joining the roster of the latest Need For Speed outing. Once again, much like the front splitter, depending on what your budget is will determine how fancy the spoiler will look.
#4. Underbody Lights
It may not be your biggest upgrade for your car, but the underbody lights can make a massive difference in how your car appears. Underbody lights can range from simple glow lights at the front or rear of the vehicle to a line of lights along the side of the underbody; you can even have lights on all four sides of the vehicle. The LED underbody lights make for a great way to add a lot of personality to the vehicle.
The costs of underbody lights will vary depending on the color and type of light bars you go with. For some people, the underbody lights are seen as flashy, and in some cases, you will also have to deal with any local ordinance before you commit to throwing a bunch of neon glowing lights onto the bottom of your Impala. But if you don’t have the cash or means to physically alter your spoilers, splitters, or decals, the lights are a simple way to give personality to your Impala without committing to anything drastic.
#3. LED Interior Ambient Lights
Improving the Feng Shui of your interior cabin can range from swapping out the interior material, seats, or dashboard to more simple alterations in the form of LED ambient interior lights. The highlight here is that ambient cabin lights can be purchased and installed cheaply. Some of which are as low as $10, so you can set up the interior without having to completely overhaul the upholstery or design of the cabin.
Many newer vehicles also already come equipped with ambient interior lights, so this kind of upgrade would bring your Impala up to today’s standards rather than doing anything super drastic. The highlight here is that there are some interior LED kits you can get for an Impala. The kits available for the Impala are super cheap these days since the model has been discontinued, making it a really striking way to upgrade your vehicle without requiring a ton of cash.
#2. Sports Brake Calipers
You will likely need new rotors to really get the most out of sport calipers, along with larger wheels, but if you do manage to get those outfitted onto your Impala, one of the sleekest things you could do to improve its overall appeal is add some sleek calipers to the car. Sports brake caliper kits typically come in bright colors and not only allow you to house upgraded brake pads, but they look amazing on large wheels with thin tire profiles.
There are both OEM and third-party aftermarket calipers available, where you can either shop directly through Chevy’s parts department, your local Chevy dealer’s parts supply, or a third-party vendor to get your hands on some cool calipers for your Impala. However, unlike many other items on this list, sports brake calipers are expensive. They look cool, are functional, and add a ton of appeal to your vehicle, but they are an investment. Sure, you can find some nice calipers for under $200, but you’re running the risk on the quality factor. Calipers aren’t essential for raising the appeal of your Impala, but they do make a significant difference once you see them on your car.
#1. Larger Wheels
Obviously, the best way to completely change the way you view your car boils down to wheels. If you bought a used Chevy Impala and want to completely change how people view its value, wheels are one of the easiest ways to do so. A good set of wheels will not only change its aesthetic appeal but also its performance profile because larger wheels with better tires can increase how the vehicle performs on the road.
The Chevy Impala looks good on 19-inch and 20-inch wheels, no doubt. A good set of rims with a quality set of calipers on a slick pair of tires is just pure chef’s kiss quality when it comes to turning your sleeper sedan into a high-performance sports sedan. Like the sports calipers, a higher-quality set of wheels will cost you but can also completely change the way you view the vehicle. There are still some nice 19-inch wheel options to explore on the budget side, which can still net you some cool looks at an affordable price, and this way, you get the best of all worlds.